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James River Jumps After Second-Quarter Results Beat Estimates

James River Coal Co., a producer of the fuel in Appalachia and the Midwest, rose the most in more than a month after reporting a smaller second-quarter loss than analysts predicted as costs fell.

The shares rose 12 percent to $2.49 at 11:30 a.m. in New York after jumping as much as 20 percent, the most since July 5.

James River reported a loss of $25.8 million, or 74 cents a share, less than the 78-cent average of 11 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 21 percent to $277.4 million from $352 million a year earlier, the Richmond, Virginia-based company said in a statement today.

The company’s cost of coal sold fell 4.8 percent to $77.08 a ton in the second quarter from $80.99 a year earlier, it said in the statement.

James River also benefited from selling metallurgical coal, a premium coal grade used by steelmakers, at a higher price than some other coal companies, said Lucas Pipes, an analyst at Brean Murray Carret & Co. in New York.

“James River sold their met coal for $129/short ton, above some of its peers that recently reported,” Pipes wrote in a note today.

Alpha Natural Resources Inc. reported an average realized price for metallurgical coal of $127.83 a short ton, the company said in its earnings release yesterday.

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